With the rising rate in the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the government of Rivers state said it is putting measures in place to stem the tide in the state.
Governor Nyesom Wike had on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 announced the closure of land and sea borders in the State and a ban on vehicles entering or leaving the State.
According to him, “The State is now on a complete lockdown as a preventive measure against the novel coronavirus”.
Few days later, the governor announced the closure of markets and ordered strict adherence to that effect.
To this end, reactions have begun to trail the declaration of a complete lockdown of the State and the imposition of curfew by the Governor of the State, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
In a vox pop carried out by our publication, a cross section of the people expressed their opinions on the development.

These are:

Soibi Max Alalibo – (a renowned journalist): I’d say it’s for the best at the end of the day, because it is aimed at stoping and spreading infection of the Coronavirus. The fact, however, remains that there’s hardly any good or great achievement that is accomplished without sacrifice. The subsequent hardship as a result of hike in prices of food stuffs is also part of the greedy nature of man to use the opportunity of momentary stoppage of food stuffs into the State to make more profit. But I believe that just as the government came up with appropriate measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, based on exigencies of the moment, it will still come up with solutions.

George Idadokima – (Port Harcourt resident): The state & country is confused. Lockdown without good palliative is dangerous.

Tekena Ambrose – (Political Economist): The lockdown is welcome, especially for some of us that are following the frightening spread of this pandemic. Having said this, though, let me emphasize that the government was too rash in this. Where are the cushioning measures for the decision? There is none! Honestly, there is no palliative measure on ground for the people. The state government threw the people into confusion when it announced the sudden closure of markets in the state with just a 24 hour notice. The stampede exposed a lot of thing and worst of it is the action was taken even when the state civil servants were denied their March salaries. I see gloom and pains. I see terror as crime and violence will increase. I bet you.

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Ibibia Awoere – (Social Commentator): It shouldn’t have been total. Gov. Wike is a man drunk by the power of his office. All entreaties to allow even Port operators to work as is the case in Lagos has been rebuffed by him. As I’m talking to u, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA) is in discussions with the Lagos state governor on ways to mitigate the closure. The governor is discussing with them. In the case of Wike, he has been very unreasonable. Nobody can talk to Wike. He sees himself as all powerful. If he was the president of this country, he would behave much worse. Very dictatorial.

Prof. Owunari Georgewill – (Proffessor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Port Harcourt): Covid-19 precautionary measures are aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. All over the world different measures are put in place to achieve this aim. Zimbabwe is on complete lockdown just for the emergence of one Covid-19 case. Drastic challenges require drastic measures.
I commend the government of President Mohammed Buhari for all the steps taken in combating the spread of Covid-19. The 20BILLION Naira to Lagos state; the Billion Naira to NCDC to upgrade its capacity and personnel in the struggles against the pandemic, his address to the nation on Sunday and the measures announced to prevent the spread of this scourge, enjoin Nigerians to abide by these precautionary measures and stay at home, wash hands regularly, use hand sanitizers and observe social distancing if they must go out in states where there are no restrictions of movement yet.

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Deborah Ogolo – (Journalist): For me, the lock down is welcome as to prevent further spread of the disease but I don’t cherish the total closure of markets. It is seriously affecting the masses, especially the indigent or down trodden ones who may not at this time have a means of livelihood. This might also bring about more ailment and possible death. Hunger kills more than any disease.

Damiete West – (Journalist): It is a very good move. Of course it is one effective way by which the government can curb the pandemic.

Ivy Davies Etukakpan – (Publisher): It is very uncoordinated and would ultimately bring more suffering and pains .

Omubo Briggs – (Social Commentator): Recent comments on Facebook have shown that the closure of markets in this part of the world is a big blow to the common people. Where are the politicians that claim to be for the masses? This is the time to show your love. Why not cease this opportunity to become the strongman of politics in Port Harcourt or Rivers State? No be to carry army ambush us for election o!
Dangote would have distributed 1billion naira worth of Dangote spaghetti, Macaroni, salt and other food items to the masses to alleviate their plight, than donating 1 billion naira to the Covid-19 fund that will eventually be stolen by the fund managers.
Sometimes, I feel the problem of Nigeria is the docile masses; I just don’t want to use the word ignorant masses. How can you praise the government for being proactive in fighting Covid-19 by restricting movement, closing markets and borders? Is that all the government can offer? What did the government do to cushion the effect of the stay at home? The government held meeting with religious leaders to cooperate with restrictions on movement; but they could not do meeting with Power Holding Companies to provide regular power supply to encourage sit at home. Government could not hold meeting with Captains of industries to pay workers early, so as to purchase and stockpile food stuff. Markets were shut down, but made no provision for people to purchase food items, face mask, nose and mouth covers. Governments at all level in Nigeria are all insensitive, and deserves no applause for the various restrictions and closures due to Covid-19. What commitment have they truly made? Any free face mask, nose cover or food supply from government?

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Furo Iyenemi – (PH-born Professional footballer based in Belgium): It’s okay but before doing that they should have made provision for those that get their daily income from the market and commercial activities. The civil servants will definitely receive have their salaries at the end of each month but how will the traders get theirs? This is a very serious issue. They sell to live each day. Remember there arev also those that are daily workers. They only eat when they are paid at the end of the day. How do they survive? I wish the government could consider the place of these forgotten population even if the situation calls for sacrifice by all.

Tombari Wisdom Akie – (Social Commentator): Well the lockdown is for our safety , but this time is no longer safety , because the lockdown has brought more poverty on us , prize of things increases , I have soup in my house but can’t afford garri , even fufu that was 50 Naira is now 100, some hoodlums are now attacking people on the street, infact the problem is too Much on us